jourdanicus said:You gotta remember though, dogs don’t actually do stuff to please. They do it because somethings in it for them (food, toy, other reward). This is an anthropomorphic misconception! Suggested relevant read: The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson. :)
I guess I should have…
I’m going to quickly pop in here. :)
You can definitely build praise to become secondary reinforcer (I’m not sure if you know this already). By saying your praise word followed by a treat (or whatever else Potter wants), you would be building up the value of the praise. :)
We are doing a similar thing with praise and toys since Mila doesn’t find those two things reinforcing by themselves. :D
I did not know this. How do you do that with toys? I would love to have Potter find toys reinforcing. He gives 0 fucks about toys unless Sean or I start running around wildly, making outrageous movements, and lots of noises. Then he’ll be interested for a little while before losing interest again. He’s a lot more interested in rough housing this us than the toy.
I totally missed this! I don’t think it showed up on my tracked tags. Tumblrrrrrrr! *shakes fist at*
I have tried the same method failedslacker suggested but found that Mila had no interest after I’ve done that for a few days. I just looked absolute silly and my mom was starting to worry about me. :D
Mila has zero toy drive. Or it could just be me. :) Either way, I have begun revisiting this method again after I’ve built up the toy itself using food and it worked a lot better (for us).
Roughly the method I used:
- Put toy on ground (if you get absolutely zero interest you can wiggle it around), click and throw treat away from toy*. Repeat a few times. [This piqued Mila’s interest so she started nosing the toy. Jackpot!]
- Start asking for more. Any interaction that Potter has with the toy other than looking at it, you can click and treat for it. [What ended up happening with us was Mila started pouncing on the toys. Jackpot!]
- After Potter is reliably interacting with the toy, you can start asking for more again. Some of the criteria I used are — more vigorous interactions, more time interacting, and distance (i.e., chasing the toy).
We’re not at the level that I can use the toy as a reward by itself yet but I gather that we will be able to a couple of months from now! The idea is that the more I do this, the more it will become rewarding in and of itself (secondary reinforcer / conditioned reinforcer). I can make a video for you with a toy we haven’t done this for yet, if you’d like. :)
So back to the method earlier. After I’ve done those steps at a reasonable level (such that the dog is reliably interacting with the toy every time it’s out), I start doing the Oohing and Aaahing the toy as if saying, “Hey, your favourite activity in the world is heeeeeeere!” :D
I also let her play with her food — chase it a bit before I give the food, throwing the food somewhere else, tossing it up in the air, etc. I am hoping this also build up her play drive a bit more.
(If anybody else has got other tips they have, I would love to hear it!)
*I tend to throw the treat away from the toy since it builds up excitement for dogs who like to run, like Mila. It is also a method of food play.
with Sausage (who has a small amount of prey drive) I got a sheepskin and a tennis ball on a bungee cord because that’s like three toys in one and has GOT to be exciting, right? (from crash test toys, in case anybody’s wondering) due to a shipping issue it was also soaked in lamb fat, and that might’ve contributed to her newfound fondness for tugging.
you want to make The Toy the best thing ever. ours spent a lot of time on a shelf in the hallway and was ONLY brought out for play in low-distraction areas when she was already geared up (like when people come home after work, or after walkies), and besides that we’ve been doing mostly similar stuff to what’s already been said here, being fully engaged in the game, running around and treating the toy like i think it’s super cool, moving it erratically and quickly to engage what prey drive she has. also: roughhousing while tugging â susan garrett smacka smacka!